Using the Speak feature with Multilingual TTS

The Speak feature in Microsoft Office enables text-to-speech (TTS) in OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. By downloading additional TTS engines for other languages, you can change the voice selection to hear the text read in those languages. TTS engines are also necessary to hear translations with the Mini Translator.

 Important    The Speak feature will not work with Windows XP.

To learn how to use the TTS feature in Excel, see Converting text to speech in Excel.

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Add TTS engines for other languages

To add other language engines, for free, you will need to the correct Speech Platform, and then you must download the TTS engines in the language(s) that you want.

Download the Microsoft Speech Platform

To download and install the Microsoft Speech Platform, follow these steps:

  1. Determine which operating system platform that you have.

     Note    If you’re not sure which platform you have, see Which Microsoft Office platform do I have?

  2. Go to the Microsoft Download Center, and then download the Microsoft Speech Platform for your platform.
  3. Follow the instructions to install the speech platform on your computer.

Download additional TTS language engines

To download and install TTS engines in additional languages, follow these steps:

  1. Select your TTS language from the following list

ShowAvailable languages

  1. Follow the instructions to install the TTS engine for the language that you selected.
  2. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for any additional languages.
  3. Restart your Office program for the changes to take effect.

 Tip    To learn more about Speech technologies, visit the TTS engines page in the Download Center or the Microsoft Speech Technologies web site.

 Note    If you have a third-party TTS engine already installed on your computer, Speak will use that TTS engine rather than a Microsoft TTS engine that you have installed from the Download Center. For example, if you have a German TTS engine from another company and you also install the German Microsoft TTS engine from the Download Center, the third-party TTS engine will always be used. If you uninstall the third-party TTS engine, Speak will automatically use the TTS engine from the Download Center.

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Add Speak to the ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar

Before you can use Speak, you’ll need to add it to the ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar.

To learn how to add Speak Speak icon to your ribbon, see Customize the Ribbon.

To learn how to add Speak Speak icon to your Quick Access Toolbar, see Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

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Use Speak

After you have installed the correct platform and language TTS engines, you can use Speak to hear the text playback in the language that you choose.

To hear the text playback, follow these steps:

  1. Select the word or text string that you want to hear spoken.
  2. Click Speak in the ribbon or your Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Click Speak again to stop the playback.

 Note    Speak is disabled until you select text whose editing language matches one of your installed TTS engines.

Speak automatically knows which language to use, based on the proofing language you have set for your selected text. To learn more about using different languages in your file, see Type or edit text in a different language. To learn more about hearing translations spoken with the Mini Translator, see See translations with the Mini Translator.

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Applies to:
Excel 2013, OneNote 2013, Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010